Cannabis sap is a form of cannabis concentrate extracted from raw cannabis plant material. The unique thing about cannabis concentrates is that they can contain extremely high THC levels (as high as 90-100%.) They are also rich in other cannabinoids like CBD and contain a variety of terpenes.
There are two main methods used to extract cannabis concentrates, namely solvent, and solventless extractions. A solvent is a substance that dissolves a solute to form a solution. In this case, the solute can be the cured buds of a cannabis plant, dry trim, or even a frozen fresh cannabis plant. The most commonly used solvent in cannabis concentrate extractions is butane, but other solvents such as propane, ethanol, acetone, and carbon dioxide are also used.
First, butane is used to purge the cannabinoids and terpenes from the raw plant material. Ultimately, the solution is placed in a vacuum oven to evaporate any residual butane from it. After the process is complete, you are left with a highly potent cannabinoid- and terpene-rich cannabis concentrate that is safe to consume.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is a safer and cleaner alternative to butane extractions. There is a risk of explosion and some residual butane remaining in the cannabis concentrate after the purging process.
However, with supercritical CO2 extractions, specialized machines freeze and compress carbon dioxide, transforming it into a “supercritical” cold liquid. The raw cannabis plant material is then placed in an extractor, and the supercritical CO2 is passed through it. This process produces a cannabis concentrate with a runny and sticky consistency known as cannabis sap.
What Is Cannabis Sap?
One of the main benefits of cannabis concentrates is that you end up with a substance that contains a much higher THC level. An average cannabis strain has a THC level of around 15-20%. However, as mentioned earlier, a cannabis concentrate can contain a THC level as high as 90-100%. Therefore, you will only need to consume a tiny amount of the highly potent cannabis concentrate to achieve the desired effect.
Cannabis concentrates come in many different physical forms and typically get their name from their consistency. You may have heard of cannabis concentrates such as shatter, pull ’n’ snap, and cannabis sap (there are many more).
Cannabis concentrates come in many forms, including sap, shatter, and more. They all have different consistencies.
Shatter is widely regarded as being the purest form of cannabis concentrate. It contains a staggeringly high THC level of between 90-100%. Shatter is very brittle when it cools and tends to shatter like glass in this state. Pull ‘n’ snap essentially is shatter with a more taffy-like texture. Cannabis sap, on the other hand, never solidifies but remains in a viscous liquid state.
There are many factors or methods that can result in a cannabis concentrate with the consistency of cannabis sap. Heat-treating the raw cannabis material before extraction as well as decarboxylation will produce cannabis sap. Cannabis plants with a naturally higher terpene content tend to produce a cannabis concentrate with a viscous liquid consistency.
Factors like heat and moisture content can also affect the consistency, transforming the cannabis oil into a runnier viscous state, i.e., cannabis sap.
How to Consume Cannabis Sap
There are several ways to consume cannabis sap. Sap can be dabbed, smoked in joints, bowls, and vape pens, and used in edibles after decarboxylation. The pliable nature of cannabis sap makes it suitable for twaxing. Twaxing involves applying the cannabis sap to the inside, outside, or tip of a roll or bowl.
If you are twaxing on the inside of a joint, then make sure that you place the cannabis sap in the middle of the joint and that it is surrounded by cannabis. Doing so will ensure that it burns evenly. If you use it on the outside, apply a thinner, more even layer to avoid drips.
Dabbing is a very popular method of consuming cannabis concentrates. The cannabis concentrate, such as cannabis sap, is placed on a hot nail, typically made out of quartz, ceramic, or titanium, and vaporized. The resulting vapor is inhaled through a “dab rig.”
The temperature of the nail should ideally be between 550-750 degrees Fahrenheit. A higher temperature will produce more vapor, while a lower temperature will preserve more of the flavor and terpene content of the cannabis sap.
If you are dabbing your cannabis sap, dip your dap tool into the cannabis sap and twist to wrap it around it. This way, you will have more control over it and should help prevent waste. Due to the sticky adhesive quality of cannabis sap, we recommend storing it in parchment paper or a non-stick silicone container.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis Sap
Cannabis sap is one of a large number of cannabis concentrates out there. These concentrates continue to grow in popularity due to the natural advantages they have over simply smoking cannabis weed. Cannabis sap and cannabis concentrates, in general, have a much higher THC level than your average strain, and retain more of the terpene content and flavor. Due to the potency of concentrates like cannabis sap, a little goes a long way. Therefore, you can consume a small amount and still enjoy the same – or arguably better – results.